Congratulations to the NRG Oncology Members Assigned to NCI Gastrointestinal Task Forces - Rectal/Anal Cancers

March 08 2022

The following NRG Oncology Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Committee members have recently been appointed or had their appointments renewed to serve on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) GI Task Force for rectal and anal cancers. Members involved in this task force will meet to discuss concepts and make recommendations for clinical trial planning within their disease subtype.

William A. Hall, MD

Dr. Hall is an associate professor of radiation oncology and surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His research emphasizes novel applications of radiation in pancreatic, prostate, renal, and colorectal cancers. Central themes of his research are novel biomarkers of treatment response and the use of MR imaging to guide personalized radiation.

Dr. Hall is heavily involved in both GI and GU research at NRG Oncology. He is a Core Committee Member of both the NRG GI Colorectal and Non-Colorectal Cancer Committees as well as a member of the NRG Pancreas GI Subsite Working Group and the Rectal GI Subsite Working Group. He also is a member of the GU core committee and leads the post-op prostate subgroup. He has been an author on various NRG publications, and recently was the Lead Author of an oral presentation at ASTRO 2021 presenting the results of a prospective rectal imaging trial titled “Prospective Validation of the Magnetic Resonance Tumor Regression Grade (MR-TRG) and Correlation With Pathologic Endpoints Score in NRG Oncology GI002". He also recently published a manuscript with the GU core research group titled “Quality of Life Implications of Dose-Escalated External Beam Radiation for Localized Prostate Cancer: Results of a Prospective Randomized Phase 3 Clinical Trial NRG-RTOG 0126” which was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

”I am simply thrilled to be serving on the NCI rectal-anal task force! This incredible group of talented oncologists, scientists, and patient advocates, reviews and provides feedback on the absolute state of the art clinical research designed to improve outcomes for patients with rectal and anal cancers. It’s truly an honor to be part of this group and help to design some of the most important research currently being done to help these cancer patients.” added Dr. Hall.

Noam VanderWalde, MD

Dr. VanderWalde is the Medical Director of Research Operations and an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the West Cancer Center & Research Institute. He is also co-chair of the IRB of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. In addition to his work in GI cancers, Dr. VanderWalde also specializes in breast cancer as well as geriatrics. He is a member of the Cancer & Aging Research Group, active on the Committee for Older Adults Oncology for the Alliance for Clinical Trials, and a member of the International Society for Geriatric Oncology (SIOG).

Dr. VanderWalde is actively involved as a Core Committee Member of both the NRG GI Colorectal and Non-Colorectal Cancer Committees. He was also the Lead Author of the manuscript “The Association of Age and Acute Toxicities in NRG Oncology Combined Modality Lower GI Cancer Trials” that was published in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology.

“It is an honor to be a member of the NRG GI committees and have the opportunity to help design studies that could lead to the improvement of care of patients with GI cancers around the world. As a member of the NRG GI committees as well as the rectal anal taskforce for the GI steering committee, I hope to help investigators consider the needs of our older adult patients in their designs and ultimately increase the accrual of our older population onto important NCTN trials.,” said Dr. VanderWalde.

Greg Yothers, PhD

Dr. Yothers is a Primary Investigator of the NRG Oncology Statistical and Data Management Center (SDMC), Senior Deputy Director of the Pittsburgh SDMC office, and Deputy Group Statistician for NRG Oncology. He was recently re-elected to serve his fourth two-year term as a biostatistician on the NCI GI Steering Committee. In addition to being an NRG Colorectal Cancer Core Committee member, Dr. Yothers is also a member of the NRG Colon GI Subsite Working Group and the Rectal GI Subsite Working Group. He is also a member of the NRG Protocol Operations Monitoring Committee and Ancillary Project Committee.

Outside of the NRG, Dr. Yothers is a Research Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He is involved in the design, implementation, and analysis of phase II and II clinical trials evaluating therapies for the treatment of colon, rectal, and breast cancer with a focus in methodological research.

“NRG Oncology is presently conducting the GI005 COBRA trail and soon to open the GI008 CIRCULATE US trial, these will be the seminal studies guiding the use of circulating tumor DNA for the management and treatment of early stage colon cancer” stated Dr. Yothers.

Atif Iqbal, MD

Dr. Iqbal was assigned to both the NCI Colon and the Rectal and Anal Task Forces. Read more about Dr. Iqbal and his appointments.

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